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18ft Skiffs Ferry Patrons Trophy - Staying upright key

by Frank Quealey on 4 Mar 2012
Appliances Online’s hull almost disappears on the run to the finish line - Ferry Patrons Trophy 2012 Frank Quealey © /Australian 18 Footers League http://www.18footers.com.au
The 18ft Skiffs Ferry Patron's Trophy race sailed on Sydney Harbour today, took a heavy toll on the fleet.

The appliancesonline.com.au 18ft Skiff team of Michal Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson gave a marvelous exhibition to tame the 20+ knot north east wind.


appliancesonline.com.au completed the course without incident to defeat Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) by 39s and take out the Ferry Patrons Trophy.


Yandoo, with John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck on board, also managed to complete the course without a capsize to finish third, a further 1 minute 38 seconds behind Smeg.

At least nine of the fourteen starters capsized at some stage of the race.

First to hit the ‘tide’ was Gotta Love It 7, skippered today by Scott Babbage, which capsized shortly after the start, followed not long after by Smeg before the fleet had gone 1k up the first beat.


Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, skippered by Michael Coxon and crewed by replacements Dan Wilsdon and Geoff Beauchop, was showing her customary boat speed to head the pack to the first set of 3-buoys windward marks.

Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) were next followed by appliancesonline and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones).

Lumix, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and appliancesonline gained an advantage as they went to the ‘red’ buoy while Thurlow Fisher was shuffled back to fourth as she went to the ‘blue’ marker.

The race lead changed twice on the downwind legs past the Shark Island wing mark and down to the bottom mark off Clarke Island.

De’Longhi-Rabbitohs took over from Lumix off Shark Island then Appliancesonline led De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and Lumix by 15 seconds at Clarke Island.

Appliancesonline continued to lead at the next set of windward marks but Andrew Chapman’s Fisher and Paykel was now in second place after a strong windward performance.


The spinnaker run down the centre of the course provided plenty of thrills and spills.

Lumix lost sheet hand Greg Dixon overboard, which required the spectator ferry to come to his assistance before transporting him back to the boat which had gone 100 metres further down the course.

Two other casualties were Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, which both capsized near the bottom mark.

Another strong windward leg by Fisher and Paykel and the advantage of a ‘red’ rounding ahead of appliancesonline’s ‘blue’ mark, had Fisher and Paykel as leader when spinnakers were set for the final spinnaker run home.


Both teams were battling the conditions and trying to stay ahead of the fast finishing Smeg when Fisher and Paykel capsized off Point Piper just 500m from the finish line.

Appliancesonline’s crew took no chances across Double Bay as they lowered their ‘pirate’ spinnaker to cross the line under main and jib for a great win.


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